Who would’ve foreseen that working in the food business would involve this much recruitment…
Whether it’s a peopling-up for a new site or just reacting to hospitality’s high churn of people, just ask a hospitality and restaurant leader how much time they or their team spends looking for new employees.
It is thought that almost 50% of frontline employees leave their new role within the first 90 days of starting. It’s no wonder why hospitality leaders and managers perceive hiring great people as only the first hurdle towards building a strong and reliable team.
But why are people leaving hospitality so fast?
Many enter hospitality and restaurants with little expectation to see their role as anything other than a stepping stone whilst they hold off for a future career. Some quick cash, a means to an end, beer money whilst studying, whatever way you look at it, the majority of people are just not down for the long haul.
Looking into the future, workforce challenges appear inevitable, with reports concluding that between 53 — 97% of young Brits have already written off a career in hospitality. And even though there are discrepancies in the exact stats, it’s clear that hospitality businesses will have to continue to fight long and hard for those entering the workforce.
Keeping new recruits engaged within the business for more than 90 days can be difficult to achieve if you’re a busy manager. From our experience, loss of engagement is exacerbated when new recruits don’t feel supported or sufficiently trained to perform well in their new role.
Let’s be honest. Employee training in the fast-paced hustle and bustle of hospitality and restaurant operations can be scattered, to say the least...
Many within the sector will have experienced a colleague frantically show or tell them how to complete a task, only then to be whisked away to attend to something else.
"Wait, how do I..."
Sufficient on the job training is often a result of management having to constantly cut back on labour costs to maintain a profitable business. As a result, new employees are often expected to hit the ground running and learn from piecemeal and often conflicting pieces of advice; not the intended structured training programme.
Inexperienced employees can be the Achilles heel to hospitality and restaurant businesses who, now more than ever, are striving for 5-star reviews and repeat custom. Consumers, also under their own financial stresses expect nothing short of great experience in a sector that is continuously raising the bar.
The bleak labour market makes poor onboarding practices a major risk to future resources. And hospitality leaders need to remember that in recruitment, onboarding and training alone, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of touchpoints that can propel or obliterate your employees’ motivation to work for you.
We understand that finding the time to properly onboard employees can be a challenge. Reassessing the way you bring employees into their new role is not a quick task. But recruiting employees who don’t even make it past the 90-day mark is no effective use of your team’s time and operators need to acknowledge their people as their most valuable asset.
Society for Human Resource Management found that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding — that’s more than 12 times the tenure of someone who only worked 90 days! Now if you extrapolated the cost of each new recruit, there’s a pretty compelling reason to consider whether you are doing all you can to properly onboard your employees.
What digital training platforms are available?
At Hospitality Mavericks, we have worked with a number of clients who are leveraging tech to make their recruitment and onboarding processes more streamlined and effective.
Typsy and Vidleos are both leading the way in the hospitality space for employee onboarding and training. Both are cloud-based platforms that are specifically designed for hospitality, helping clients in the following areas:
- Food safety/health & safety
- Food & drink creation
- Company culture & values
Not limited to generic, stock content; these companies can provide custom material and turn your outdated powerpoint slides and documents into easy to digest videos and interactive MP4’s.
How digital training platforms reduce your 90-day turnover:
Boost employee brand experience
Here at Hospitality Mavericks, we define brands by the strength of their culture; the combination of belief (what you say you will do) and behaviour (what you actually do). Supporting employees with digital training platforms helps them to better understand the company they work for in addition to providing them with the information they need to do a good job.
With video being the most engaging, digestible and entertaining medium to share information, digital training platforms can act as a megaphone for hospitality and restaurant leaders, managers and employees to amplify the brand they represent.
More than just a one-directional/top-down communication channel, digital training platforms can also promote internal heroes within the organisation. Giving the employees the autonomy to create their own content brings a range of additional benefits:
- It’s an entertaining and creative way to create content;
- It’s resourceful;
- It promotes a culture around knowledge sharing — lets the specialists inform and inspire;
- It shows the frontline that their voice is not just heard, but valued;
- It unites the broader organisation.
Imagine the power of getting your best, most passionate barista in front of the camera, or showcasing your most hospitable member of staff for the whole organisation to see…
Establish and maintain consistency across the organisation
Profitable and sustainable brands only come if you’re able to create a consistently great employee and customer experience; two major pillars of the power of consistency:
To make that happen, hospitality businesses need strong training systems that support managers and employees in getting the job done. Digital training platforms can be leveraged to continuously communicate what needs to happen for guests to have a great experience *near enough* every time.
We also see these platform being extremely valuable if you are expanding your estate. A new unit equals a whole new team of employees, all of whom will require well thought out onboarding and training for the new site to be a success.
Digital training platforms can help in guiding employees through this crucial period, and therefore reduce the high employee turnover that usually occurs during the first three months of opening a new restaurant or hospitality business. If you are a large brand then we cannot overstate the benefit of having all within the organisation engaged in a digital training platform — particularly when your business is entering periods of change.
Save time & money
Of course, there will be some upfront investment of time and money to make digital training and learning take off. But we have talked and seen many large and small operators see a clear ROI when they implement the right solution. Under such circumstances, they don’t just save money, but also free up precious employee and management time so that customers are better looked after and greater revenues can be generated.
We have found that digital training and learning platforms are generally preferred by frontline employees when compared to old and dusty training materials, booklets and mind-numbing Word documents. Managers also win — since the old-fashioned mediums make it challenging to track who’s even read them, unlike the insights and the statistics that come with a Vidleos account.
We need to modernise our hospitality businesses. Those entering the industry aren’t looking to spend hours studying employee handbooks. They want to learn about their employer and their role similar to the ways in which they take in information in their downtime (YouTube, Netflix etc.).
Being dependent on employees from overseas, visual learning platforms are also immensely valuable for those who do not speak English as their primary language.
So when hospitality and restaurant businesses find themselves competing in an increasingly competitive labour market, it is the ones who invest in digital training are more likely to retain their foreign employees. Any saved cash can then be invested back into the employees and the 90-day employee turnover continues to go down.
How to get started
Great training doesn’t start with great technology, but with the right mindset and strategies.
Ongoing training, learning and onboarding should not be seen as a standalone part of the business, but as a vital aspect of fulfilling the overall business strategy. It is an investment, not just an expense on the P/L.
What is essential is that the platform supports the overall strategy for learning. It’s not going to solve your 90-day turnover challenges overnight, but it can be an invaluable tool for managers and general managers to leverage to get the most out of their people and keep them supported on an ongoing basis.
We recommend that you fully understand where your business has strengths, and where your business has gaps before you invest time and money into a training platform.
Like all initiatives and tech adoption, nothing good comes from poor implementation.
Getting people from the frontline involved from the outset is key to seeing digital training platforms deliver an ROI. After all, it is the frontline who will truly bring it to life…
If you would like to receive more information about digital training platforms or just a conversation about hospitality and restaurant reach, please reach out. You can also tune in to our podcasts with leaders from the hospitality industry here and find out how they are unleashing their potential within their organisations.
Michael is a heart-centred operations and people specialist, who believes and lives by building hospitality and restaurants businesses from the inside out. When your employees love your company, your customers will love you — brand nirvana. He helps leaders and operators to build unique blueprints and business systems that create strong employee and customer experience through implementation, which translate into improved sales, profits and positive impact.
Oliver is a business graduate with over five years experience working for globally recognised restaurant chains. Besides when he’s surrounded by food, Ollie is in his element when he’s rethinking operational systems with the primary focus of enhancing employee and guest experiences.